Hassan Sheikh: We've made strides in Al-Shabaab war in Somalia
WASHINGTON, United States - President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud maintains that his administration has made significant strides in the fight against Al-Shabaab, a true reflection of his promises to the Somali people when he took power from his predecessor Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.
At Washington DC in America, Hassan Sheikh lauded the Somali National Army and the local militia for their efforts to dislodge the militants from strategic towns within Galgaduud, Hiiraan and Bay regions, a move which has yielded results according to the government.
“We see a strong momentum against al-Shabab and want to sustain it to defeat a group that has proven to be remorseless and [like the] mafia, which has attained economic autonomy through intimidation and the murder of innocent people,” Mohamud said.
Going forward, he noted, the government is forging a strong military alliance with the African Union Transition Mission [ATMIS] and the US soldiers to make serious advances in Jubaland where the government has been struggling against the militants.
“There is ongoing preparation to liberate al-Shabab from middle-Juba region in southern Somalia, the only region in the country where the militants control its entirety,” Mohamud sad.
He said his government’s new approach is being encouraged by the resistance of local clan militia, who keep fighting al-Shabab in the central Somali regions of Hiran and Galguduud.
“Once they could not tolerate the intimidation, the extortion and the abduction of their children, now some local clans say they have started fighting al-Shabab. Therefore, we want to support our people to live in peace and dignity,” Mohamud said.
On Saturday, the military announced the deaths of over 35 Al-Shabaab militants just hours after President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud finished his speech. In the capital Mogadishu, over 10 militants were also arrested by the NISA officials.
“The Somali National Army launched an attack on the al-Shabab base in Aborey village and took over the militant base, killing 43 militants,” Brigadier General Mohamed Tahlil Bihi, infantry commander of the Somali National Army told government radio.
Al-Shabaab militants are said to be using drones in their recent incursion, but the national army and other allies have repulsed the teams on many fronts. The militants are fighting to topple the fragile UN-backed federal government, but their attempts have often been futile.